My company has a Global Day of Service every October. Employees at branches all over the world take four hours and go out into the community to volunteer their time.
I am the Chair of the Community Relations Committee so I run this program every year. I decided that for my project to run I would do Habitat for Humanity. I’ve wanted to get me and Dancing Chick involved in it but there just never seems to be enough time.
It was great. I got to nail down some plywood for the kitchen floor. Some of the volunteers built the front porch, some got the yard ready, and others were kind of floating around. The construction manager was great. He really loved his job and loved to talk about the organization. It’s really a great program. Families have to apply for the program and once they are approved they have to do 300 hours of work either on their own house or other houses being built. These families don’t just get the house for free. They do have buy them but they are at a cheaper price. The farm house that they gutted and re-did next to the house we were building was three bedrooms, one and a half baths, 1500 square feet and the family would be paying $160-170K. For those of you who don’t know about housing prices in Massachusetts, that house would normally cost in the $300k range. So, once they do their hours (if they aren’t done before the house is done, Habitat rents the house to them until they are done) they buy the house and get a 20 year interest free loan. And no, they can’t resell the house and make a ton of money. There is something in the way it is deeded that keeps it as a low-income house, not sure how that works.
We also had five other projects around Massachusetts (did I say that I work in Mass yet? Well, I work in Mass). The Human Society, the Veterans Hospital, Girls Inc., and two at different parks around the city.
It turned out to be a great day and all the projects went really well. I’m very thankful for all the project coordinators that made the day run so well.
Not to mention the great feeling of helping those that are less fortunate!